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Davos 10, U.s. 8, Washington 5, Clinton 5, Obama 4, Subaru 4, John Kerry 4, Casey 3, Andrew Ross Sorkin 3, Geico 3, Lunesta 3, Warfarin 3, Benghazi 3, Europe 3, New York 3, Yankees 2, Pentagon 2, Steve King 2, Susan Rice 2, Jonathan 2,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    January 24, 2013
    9:00 - 9:59am PST  

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>> today john kerry has a wide open layup. it is thursday, january 24th, and this is "now." >> joining me today assistant managing editor of fortune magazine lee gallagher, and "new york times" columnist frank brunhy. this morning senator john kerry spent an hour on the other side of the panel he chairs. the senate foreign relations committee. in his confirmation hearing for swuf state, kerry sat in the same room where a day before the committee grilled secretary of state hillary clinton about benghazi. kerry didn't exactly face the same firepower. >> i look at you in being nominated for this as someone who has almost lived their entire life, if you will, for this moment of being able to serve in this capacity. >> xhind his nomination to you
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without reservation. >> i'll have some questions later on policies and your views, including how you explain to world leaders how you could have been rooting for the boston red sox instead of what the world knows as the yankees as the team of the world. >> i don't want this to affect your questions, i have never seen a better looking and distinguished group of public officials in my life. >> clinton's five and a half hour questioning on benghazi was slightly more hostile. though she agreed to implement all 29 recommendations and the accountability ae view board, the majority of which will be in place by march, she with stood sharp questions about her character and her conduct. >> madam secretary, you let the consulate become a death trap, and that's national security malpractice. >> when you have a united states ambassador personally warning about the situation over there, send this cable to your office -- >> if i could.
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one point of the three million cables come to the year. they are all addressed to me. >> but conservative analysis after the hearings focused less on the actual diplomatic policy and more on the optics. >> she opened up crying, which is, um u, partly the script. >> this anger this outrage, i can tell you, was not spontaneous. this was all preplanned. they had four months. they knew this was coming, and this was their strategy. >> laura ingram, in a tweet that was later deleted wrote "beyonce lip-syncing the marshall anthem, and hillary lip-sync crying." >> i think she just decided before she was going to describe emotionally the four dead americans, the heroes, and use that as her trump card to get out of the questions. joining now from capitol hill is a member of the foreign relations committee, democratic senator from pennsylvania, bob casey. senator, thank you so much, and thank you for the hustle.
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we know you were just in that hearing, so tell us, we have seen two very differents faces in the last two days. there was no shortage of bows and arrows as secretary of state clinton sort of with stood questioning from some republicans on the committee and then today it seemed like i don't use this term often, a kumbaya moment in the senate, something we thought was perhaps impossible at this point. >> i would say, first, with regard to today's hearing, i think what you are seeing in the confirmation process for john kerry is a manifestation of building a bipartisan relationships over many years. that certainly is helping him m hearing. i think yesterday senator clinton did an excellent job dealing with difficult questions, taking responsibility, telling us how the implementation of all the changes and reforms are taking
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place, and i think, unfortunately, what you saw both a little bit in the house, a little bit in the senate is a lot of hot air. kind of the typical hot air in washington. it's one thing to ask a probing focused question that will lead to an answer that will help us understand what happened better. it's another thing to blow a lot of hot air, and that's what i think you saw. she handled it with dignity and grace, and i think with the kind of expansive knowledge that we've come to expect from her as secretary of state. >> and, senator, i think you're exactly right on that point about questions, and that's sort of beyond the benghazi incident. i think there's been a dearth of discussion around foreign policy, and in some part that's due because the republicans themselves don't have -- have not verbalized or outlined a foreign policy agenda that's measurably different from that which the president is pursuing. i want to draw your attention to an article in the boston globe, an op ed that says basically the idea of a foreign policy doctrine is outmoded. grand strategies are overrated. they are no more likely to guide
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this nation to noble he was than painful ones. intervention is fervor, no matter the reason, tends to reflect not reality, but advocacy by people with agendas. one of the issues right now is that the president faces a number of shifting puzzle pieces around the globe. does that, in effect, mean that there cannot be an obama doctrine that applies globally? >> i think it's always helpful for a president and an administration to have a foreign policy and a philosophy about how to approach foreign policy, but you are right that even the greatest enunciation of strategy can be impacted by kind of the short-term retactical challenges that you have, and a really volatile world, whether it's the middle east. i chair a subcommittee that has all the middle east and all of south and central asia. very volatile regions of the world.
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>> i want to play one piece of sound. i mean, as far as this being a layup, as i said earlier, it seems to be his confirmation is all but assured. senator kerry did mention the use of drones. i thought this was really interesting. let's replay the sound from earlier this morning. >> president obama and every one of us here knows that american foreign policy is not defined by drones and deployments alone. we cannot allow the extraordinary good that we do to save and change lives, to be eclipsed entirely by the role that we have had to play since september 11th. a role that was thrust upon us. is that a sign that it's looking more seriously at the after effects, the notion that drones may radicalize certain populations of a country? what -- how did you interpret
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that? >> well, in some ways i think you have to ask the strigs that directly, but a statement like that may be as much a reflection on how our foreign policy is interpreted or analyzed as much as it is a commentary on strategy. obviously, the drone program has been an effect ti tool or tactic, but even with that kind of capacity, we also immediate to make sure that we have all measures of our foreign policy and security policy at work, and why it's so important to have a strong secretary of state is because we need diplomacy. rough, tough difficult challenging diplomacy, even as we have a military strategy that is aligned with it. >> i want to open this up to our panel here in new york. you guys have been waiting so, so patiently.
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what we saw was a grilling that was as much personal if not more so, and the same is true for john kerry. he has -- as senator casey, he has established warm, very close relations with his colleagues in the senate, and i think perhaps because of that we are not going to get the sharp questioning that we maybe would, oh, say, if susan rice had been the nominee. the question still remains. >> the president will have a close, strlized circle around him. it's going to be a tight, cohesive policy. yesterday and today it's like comparing sesame street and zero dark thirty. it's different for all the reasons you said. it was theater. yes, we need to get to the bottom of the issue, but, you know, it was really a lot of the people that are questioning it's as much for their constituents back home to show that they're doing what they want to be done as anything else. >> not just their constituents, but you have to remember 2016. when hillary was sitting there in the same way that the
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democrats were saying, hey, we didn't get a chance to work with you or a chance to work with you for long, but we're looking forward to doing that in the future. in the same way they were conscious of 2016, and i think the republicans who were giving her a tough grilling were conscious of 2016 and were thinking here is an early chance to draw some blood and give her some wounds as she goes forward into a possible presidential campaign. >> i don't think it worked. she held her own. bear in mind, the whole testimony was several hours. what we saw was just a little bit of it, and i mean, kelly o'donnell was saying this morning that the tone was overall very respectful. i think it's important to remember that secretary clinton really has elevated this role. her approval ratings are in the high 60%. her tenure as secretary of state is extremely well regarded. >> look at the way she handles herself. the difference between hillary clinton today and ten years ago or even further back, i mean, she is a cool, cool customer in a way that i don't think she ever was in the past. >> i would also say unafraid to show her emotional side in a pretty strong fashion. >> staged or not, it's
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effective. >> i, for one, do not think it was staged. you can interpret as you wish. >> not that we know. >> did he end of the day a real genuine emotional tenor to what she was saying, and i think she has very much, i think, grown into the roll. >> she also made the ultimate strong point to say we can go back to what susan rice said on what day. we have to look forward. four american lives were lost here, and a lot of the questions being asked about what was said in the immediate aftermath have nothing to do with what we do going forward to make sure another incident like this never happens again. it's the strongest point to be made. >> senator casey, before we let you go, in terms of republicans and foreign policy, you know, we're talking about the questioning of hillary clinton was -- seemed to be in large part driven by 2016 ambitions or worries about electrics in the future. in terms of actual policy, what is the other side most concerned about visa vee, you know,
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foreign policy moving forward. >> unfortunately, yesterday instead of asking, as i did, about the implementation of changes and getting those changes made so that we can prevent this from happening again or at least reduce the likelihood substantially, what you saw was a lot of frankly a lot of politics, but i think most americans saw it for what it was, and it's important when you ask questions about benghazi to have looked at not just the information on the public record, but the classified information as well, and i think some of those questions would have been a little different if more people looked at the classified record on this. >> just slightly different. it begs the question, though, senator casey, if the biggest concern right now is allegiance to either the yankees or the red sox, are you going to hold this nomination up over the phillies?
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>> i think i have to make sure that we have a secretary of state in place. i can't allow my prejudice to get in the way. by the way, the reason i have to leave is i still have to ask senator kerry some questions. >> i think it should be a phillies question. i'm, of course of course kidding. thank you for a thoughtful and substantive response to my very surface questions. senator, thank you. >> thank you so much. >> after the break stop gap deals, incoherent fiscal policy, and long-term political problems. you could be talking about the e.u. or you could be talking about washington. we will flip a coin with cnbc's andrew ross sorkin when he joins us live from davos, switzerland. next on "now." [ male announcer ] there's a story behind the silver of philadelphia cream cheese. it always begins with fresh, local milk, blended with real wholesome cream. going fresh from the farm, to our fridge,
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the white house announced today that the president will renominate richard kcordrake and tap mary joe white to lead the s.e.c. as the president tries to bring stability and reform to american financial dealings, republicans seem intent on keeping the country's economy as unstable as possible. the house averted the debt ceiling fight. at least some republicans. 33 members of the house gop still broke rank. by averting, we, of course, mean punting the ticking time bomb three months down the road. >> another 90 days away so we can continue to royle this congress, this country, our people, and our economy. >> we should not even be having a debate. it should be no doubt that the
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full faith and credit of the united states will be honored, and that is what our constitution says. >> the gimmick nature of this whole thing i won't elaborate on, has been done before. >> either way, the passage of this bill has allowed lawmakers to skip from brinkmanship to probably more brinkmanship. looming just over the horizon is a budget battle that could shut down the government and automatic steep spending cuts that could cost thousands of jobs. welcome to the new normal in washington. joining us now from davos, switzerland, is cnbc's squawk box co-host "new york times" columnist and author of too big to fail, andrew ross sorkin. it is great to see you. i can't see the snowcapped mountains in the background, but i'm sure they are there. >> you can't? come on. they're there. they're there. i promise. >> i believe you. >> i promise. >> i want to ask you, andrew, what is the view from davos? >> colder, by the way, in new york than here, apparently. what did you say, alex? >> that's the climate change block that we'll keep you on for later.
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in terms of the view from davos, here we are fiddling around with the u.s. economy. what do the world's great financial and fiscal minds have to say regarding the antics in washington? >> well, i'll tell you, actually, the prevailing few here, and eric cantor just arrived. the prevailing view is that even in three months from now, the idea that we've punted on this issue, i think the prevailing view here is that we punt it forever, meaning in three months from now while there will be a fight about it, it will either get pushed off again or that there will be some deal that allows us to raise the ceiling for another year or two. i will say the view among economists here, ceos, executives, much better than i would have ever expected. you know, i think we're all very doom and gloom back in the u.s. or at least it feels that way, but this is a much happier mood. having said that, i should tell you, the -- it's sometimes a contraindicator how people feel at davos.
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we've looked historically over the past decade, and when people say they feel great, they're awful, and when they say they feel awful, they're great. take it for what it's worth. >> what is that? the mold wine? why is that? before you answer that, to prove your point, if you look at the dow over the last three months, the dow has been up 600 points since election day, and we have seen a very tumultous time in terms of talking about the u.s. economy and certain folks wanting to perhaps hold it hostage. what is that -- what is that counter indication? what does that mean? >>. >> here's the good news. the good news is i think a lot of executives now have decided that they're actually just going to have to live with fiscal cliffs. we're going to have a series of them, and that this is the new normal, as you would say, and that they're just -- it's like the weather.
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now maybe it's raining, maybe it's not, but we'll have to live with, it and to the extent there's more confidence, i think it's sort of -- there's been a come to jesus moment that this is sort of how it's going to be. whether that's the right thing or wrong thing, i don't know. also, that there seems to be a lot more support here in europe for the economy and a sense that things are actually getting better, a sense that maybe austerity doesn't work, which is a real shift, and, by the way, is a real shift in terms of how republicans are going to have to think about what's going on in the u.s. we talked austerity, austerity, austerity, and they're seeing how that's worked, and everyone is saying we got to find a way to get growth, and that's, of course, the million dollar, trillion dollar question how we get there. >> andrew just said something that struck terror in my heart, which is we may be living on the fiscal cliff from now on. i don't own a caribbeaner, nor do i intend on buying one. that is crazy. the idea that this is just the new normal, please tell me that's not true. please tell me you have thoughts to the contrary.
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>> look, the brinksmanship, that says the new normal. i think playing toy with the debt ceiling and putting the chances of default at risk, that would be disastrous. we've kind of avoided that for now. don't forget, the fiscal cliff itself is a device that was put in place because of the current situation, because we can't come to an agreement on everything. >> but now it may actually be fostering a lack of bipartisanship, right? the snake has eaten its own tail. >> yes, exactly. >> i love that. it's so useful. >> losing our appetites, right? >> in terms of the other piece, the austerity program that the republicans would have us on, you know, for a long time we've been able to look -- not a long time, but at least a year we've been able to look at what has happened to the u.k. and their economy and sort of this fiscal austerity and how it actually hasn't worked, and as andrew points out, do you think republicans are sort of finally coming to terms with that notion? >> i don't think so. that goes against everything that they stand for. the fact that that would not work. it's funny. andrew mentioned the imf issued some concerns specifically when
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talking about global economic growth that the u.s. should not issue sharp cuts in spending, and they issued it in that -- they said that warning in that broader context along with calling out europe. the situation in europe. this is a big, pressing issue for us. especially as we are teetering on the -- we're in a recovery, but we're still teetering, and so it's very pressing right now. >> austerity hasn't worked in the short-term for the european countries. it's not what's recommended for us right now. the spending battles aren't just about what happens in the short-term. we have an entitlement fiasco, and i think the meritorious thing that republicans bring up in all of this is we are not addressing that, and that isn't so much about how our economy will do next year and the year -- it's about trend lines and aging population, and a looming fiscal disaster in a couple of decades if we don't get entitlement spending you should control. >> andrew, house republicans are talking big talk about trying to get a balanced budget by 2023,
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which is real bold, i will quote, jonathan chat who says paul ryan's budget even while employing fanciful projections didn't balance the budget until 2040. moving that up by 17 years changes the plausible level from level union corn to level unicorn being ridden by santa claus. your thoughts on that? >> there's a larger point. have republicans -- i'm not suggesting they're not embracing austerity anymore, but there's an acknowledgment here. we're talking about there used to be a time they wanted a balanced budget the year after, next year, the year after. i do think there's been a fundamental shift in appreciation and understanding for how you get an economy going. again, though, to me the bigger question goes back to what you talk about getting your caribeanor. we're going to be living with a series of fiscal cliffs, even if
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in three months from now we get a debt ceiling raiseded, that will be raised for a year, maybe two. that's all we're going to get, and we'll be in the soup and having the same conversation. >> do you think that's true even if -- i mean, this is a pie in the sky scenario. what if the republicans lose the house in 2014? we are looking at the numbers as they do, they lost -- the notion that they could get a balanced budget plan in ten years is basically poppy cock, and would you have to cut discretionary spending in half in order to do that. >> frank is also right. democrats will have to come to the table too. you have to ultimately balance
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the budget. you can'tco what we're doing no matter what side of the aisle you're on, and so, you know, whether you think the democrats take the house or whether the republicans keep the house, ultimately something has to happen, and by the way, i do expect the democrats will come to the table with something because i think if they don't, i think that the general public is actually much more in the middle than after the election results ultimately suggests. >> oh, andrew. >> that is a great dispatch from davos. next time we would like is it skiing or snowboarding? what's your preference? >> i'm a skier. i actually just learned to crosscountry ski. that is kind of fun too. >> i can't say that i'm surprised. i can see you slol emily across davos thinking of great fiscal insight. >> we ran a clip of it this morning of me falling, so it was, you know -- what happens in davos should probably stay in davos. scloo as they say.
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cnbc's andrew ross sorkin from davos. >> see you back in new york. >> big wigs are gathering to map out the party's long-term strategy except we're not quite sure who the real leaders are or whether a coherent plan is even possible at this point. one thing we do know, the gop has got some issues, and we will discuss them just ahead. ♪ ♪ ♪ hi dad. many years from now, when the subaru is theirs... hey. you missed a spot. ...i'll look back on this day and laugh. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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and rarely may lead to death. you are likely to bruise more easily on xarelto®, and it may take longer for bleeding to stop. tell your doctors you are taking xarelto® before any planned medical or dental procedures. before starting xarelto®, tell your doctor about any conditions, such as kidney, liver or bleeding problems. ready to change your routine? ask your doctor about once-a-day xarelto®. for more information including cost support options, call 1-888-xarelto or visit goxarelto.com. governor chris christie takes the page from a dog-eared conservative playbook. blame president obama for the polarized political climate zoosh i think instead of trying to bring people together was a manifesto for, hey, it's my way or the highway. i don't think that's necessarily productive. >> we will get a reality check
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on the grand ole party's grand ole problems next on "now." excuse me, sir i'm gonna have to ask you to power down your little word game. i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly. ok, did she seriously just say that? geico. just click away with our free mobile app.
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>> what do you think the party must do better? where do we go in the future? this is your chance to make your voice heard, and we're listening. >> as the rnc begins its annual winter meeting in charlotte, chairman is soliciting ideas on how to renew, grow, and win. mretco reports that he will tell attendees tomorrow that "growing the party to be more welcoming and more inclusive does not require abandoning our principles." one way to be more welcoming might be to try to actually communicate with minority voters. according to the rnc's website, the latest update for hispanic republicans was on october 18th. romney for president launches his radio ad in spanish. the last team the rnc attempted to reach out to african-american
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republicans? september 5th, when mitt romney, the man who did not win the election nearly three months ago, announced his black leadership council. while this finely tuned targeted outreach will no doubt do wonder for the gop among hispaniced, who they lost by nearly 50 points, and african-americans who they lost by nearly 80 points, yesterday iowa republican congressman steve king was busy reprimanding democrats for their nasty habit of playing identity politics. >> neither can we disregard the vicious attacks on republicans that came from democrats during this last campaign and it was designed to divide people down the lines of race and ethnicity. they are masters at identity politics, and i think many republicans just seem to ignore that. >> steve king was not alone in his sentiments, addressing the rippon society on tuesday. speaker john boehner had this to say. >> we're expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of
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this administration as they attempt to anilealate the republican party. i do believe that is their goal. to just shove us into the dust bin of history. >> kevin mccarthy doubles down. >> this person's main goal is to continue to try to break the republican party. he is out of touch of where america is at with what he is trying to do. it was more of a speech for a progressive party agenda. >> then there was congressman paul brown who offered this choice analysis. "i think the only constitution that barack obama upholds is the soviet constitution, not this one." joining the panel now is the editor of the new republic, a man who has suffered for several hours on the amtrak train, frank lynn for. >> privatize that sucker. >> seriously. >> blood-sucking libertarian.
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>> that is saying something, my friend. >> exactly. >>. >> we keep asking whether the republican party will come up with a new idea? the biggest idea is that president obama is trying to uphold the soviet -- which was adopted in 1977 and says, among other things, in article one, the union of soviet socialestist republics is the socialist state of the whole people, expressing the will of intdz of the workers, pheasants, and nationalities of this country. >> if we're most worried about getting sent to the goulage, check themselves in reality. i think there is something to their point which is that obama is not trying tore anile ate the republican party, but he is trying to break a fever. i mean, he is sick of dealing with guys that are obstruct and who he is unable to do business with, and he is trying to create a different set of circumstances
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where they come out of this next election with a different understanding of this political incentives? >> aren't they doing a fairly effective job of putting themselves in the dust bin of history when they have policies on everything from gay rights to voter id laws and those not in mathemati mathematics? >> is there a sense inside the republican party, in -- among leadership? you have to wonder that something measurable needs to change. i actually want to bring up this thomas edsal "new york times" piece which i thought was one of the best analyses i have read about whether republicans can change. he writes, "the problems that faces business leaders pressing for reform is not just the reluctance of a political party to change. instead, it is the fact that much of the republican electorate, as presently constructed is profoundly committed, morally and idealogically, to traditional values." you're asking groups of people to change who were brought together by their resistance to
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change. their opposition to change is why they are republicans, and oh, lo and behold, another man who has suffered several hours on a terrible ride up to new york city, the washington post's jonathan kaphart. >> it wasn't bad until we started rolling. >> unfortunately it was a slow roll. in terms of that notion that republicans -- you're asking the party to change if the party wants to survive, it has no point to figure out how to appeal to women, young people, african-americans, latinos, gays and lesbians, who turn their backs on the republican party. >> if the republican party had policies or positions similar to
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president obama's on gay rights, they would have been tied for that vote. i think it was 26% of the self-identified gay and lesbian respondents said they would be more likely to vote for mitt romney. the naacp battleground poll after the election showed that if the republican party had similar positions or even cared about civil rights i think it was 14% of african-american voters said that they would be more likely to vote for the republican candidate. >> there are changes in this country that they can no longer deny, and that's why you have people like ralph reed coming out and saying we can't stick our head in the sand anymore, and you have -- there's supposedly winter convention
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going to have skype training and google hang-outs and -- >> i think google hang-outs sound great and skype training sounds great, but i go back to what pribus said. we have a message that we don't actually have to change our policy, right? if we have enough google hangs we can convince minority voters, gay voters that we're inclusive, and, yet, you have the president delivering a message to the country on monday which was about immigration, gay rights, as civil rights issue, and immigration. none of which should be controversial. >> i don't think he believes they have to change anywhere. i think many are willing to change on immigration. i think you'll find more and more of them changing on gay rights. abortion is a whole different matter. >> i think he is saying our limited government message can go over as jonathan mentioned, if in some of these social areas both in temz of our positions
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and our tone, we make clear that we care about other people as well. i think is he talking about small limited government, not the whole spectrum of things they stapd for. >> it's a race against time, though, isn't it? politico reports today that square my bird is heading up an effort to turn texas blue. that's a big -- well, i'm not going to quote joe biden, but that's a big deal. >> it tends to be from coastal places, whether it's silicon valley or corn gi melon, and they tend to flock to democratic leaning candidates and/or causes, so the question is in the amount of time that you have, which is not a lot of time, how do republicans attract those kinds of -- that kind of talent? >> it does require wrestling with some of the fundamental tenants of the party. you are looking at very
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superficial things. hang-outs on google. immigration reform was the -- was not a controversial issue within the republican party during the george w. bush years where you had vast -- they're not going to core issues about their view of government, of society, of the market, and i think that you see a great deal of desperation instead taking place. you look at what's happening in virginia and pennsylvania and michigan and the places where they're trying to change the rules in order to kind of hang on to some -- their presidential electoral hopes. >> alex, on this question of democracy, i was trying to think of this quote from bobby jindahl in this speech that he is going to give. he says we must reject the notion that the noegs that skin pigmentation dictates behavior. the first step in getting voters to like you is to demonstrate that you like them. >> that is the crystallizing issue for the republican party.
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how do you convince anyone not of the republican party current demographic hue, how do you convince those people that you like them and right now all those folks have a number of examples to point to to show that the republican does not like them, does not want them. >> well, i mean, let's talk about the semiotics visa have i minorities calling undocumented workers illegals and conservative dog whistles over the president's nationality asserting that he is a kenyan revolutionary or the latest that he is only paying attention to the soviet constitution. or not updating the website in six months, the website that is reportedly to outreach to minority republicans. it's maybe not the best strategy. what do i know? i guess i should just spend more time in the google hang-outs. we have to leave it there, but coming up, the pentagon is about to make it official. women can serve on the frontlines. we'll look at what it means for the future of the u.s. military just ahead. [ male announcer ] eligible for medicare?
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>> what was once just inspiring hollywood drama is now on its way to becoming official policy. >> he will tell you when you are seriously injured. it will keep you awake and angry and remind you to finish the job and get the hell home. but you know the best thing about pain, it lets you know you're not dead yet. >> we will discuss the pentagon's decision to allow women on the frontlines and the u.s. military's changing face. next on "now." [ male announcer ] ok, here's the way the system works.
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>> later this afternoon leon panetta due to leaf his post in mid-february will announce that the pentagon is removing their ban on women serving in combat roles. the decision could open 230,000 jobs to women who will now be able to serve on the frontlines. lee, this seems like a no-brainer, and, yet, the "wall street journal" has this to say about it. owe despite the professionalism of marines, it would be distract and potentially traumatizing to be forced to be naked in front of the opposite sex, particularly when your body has been ravaged by lack of hygiene. in the reverse it would be painful to witness a member of the opposite sex in such an uncomfortable and awkward position." ravaged by -- that's exactly right. >> body odor that costs the army its victories. >> what? >> i didn't know hygiene or its lack could ravage you. >> as you pointed out, how many times were people fighting in
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the nude? >> i haven't seen a lot of naked warfare, but maybe i'm just really -- >> the frontlines. loo this is resistance to change. this is something that's been debated for decades. there are many women, as so many people have pointed out, who are basically already doing this, and so this is just sort of formalizing what's already happening, and more importantly, making it equal for opportunity for advancement and things like that. i will say, you know, there is no corporate boardroom that has not benefit from having women in the room, for other reasons, and i don't want to stereotype. you hear all the things. women are more emotionally, you know -- >> sophisticated? >> women are more pragmatic. women are more collaborative. women reach across the aisle more, all we can agree is probably a little bit true, but there is something to be said for that. women approach things differently, and there is no boardroom, battlefield, anywhere, medical room, that can't benefit from that. >> diversity in general. let's take a moment to see how the u.s. military has changed. gays and women serving in the
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military. it is a great moment. >> you should be able to do or not do a job based on your ability to do it. when you say no women across the board, are you making a generalization, and making a summary judgment. you are not looking at whether individual women did can do individual jobs just as well as the men. i don't think we live in a country where we want to make those summary judgments. >> no, go ahead. >> well, another thing is that we live in this age where you have an all volunteer force, and there is a cultural gap between the military and the rest of the country. i think addressing this one major issue for them helps to a large degree keep the military in step with the rest of the country and helps prevent that divide from getting even wider. >> these are -- listening to you read that paragraph from the "wall street journal", i could not help but think are they talking about women or are they talking about gays serving in the military? those were the same arguments used to resist gays serving openly in the military. we now know that gays serve openly -- have been serving in the military and now serving
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openly in the military, and the military has not fallen apart, so what secretary panetta is doing is perfectly fine and just. >> the unremarkableness of it, pair phrasing melissa harris perry, is almost a testament to how far we've come. yes, this is just naturally par for the course. >> it's a great way for panetta to go out. this is a great kind of bookend on his tenure, i think. >> leon going out on top. we have to leave it there. thank you. thank you, guys. really, truly, for the battle today. jonathan lee, franklin, and frank. see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific when i am joined by chris hayes, joy reid, e-mail eveninga henderson, and buzz feed's ben smith. find us at facebook.com/now with alex. "andrea mitchell reports" is coming up next. treadmill app. pretty sweet, huh? cute. but don't you have any apps on your phone that can make your life easier? who do you think i am, quicken loans? at quicken loans, we'll provide you with myql mobile. this amazingly useful app allows you
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